• Fred

The Weather and Fox Broadcasting

If you asked me 5 years ago if we needed more Weather prediction options, I would have said "absolutely not." Today?


I was mostly satisfied with my #1 weather option: weather.gov. But in the year 2020, they re-tooled their radar and now it is complete shit. I don't know if it's my perception, or if they're short-handed like every other business in America, but weather.gov's overall presentation also seems less user friendly.


Option #2: weather.com. It now runs marginally better than the government's website, but their prediction rates are worse, they are cluttered with ads, and, about a third of the time, there's this....



If you look at the tool bar, you'll notice that despite me living in Lorain County, Ohio, and me working in Lorain County, Ohio, and my computer sitting in Lorain County, Ohio, weather.com originally designated my location as in Russia, then in Thailand.


My son plays an instrument in the local marching band and twice in the last 4 weeks, weather.com couldn't predict thunderstorms that hit his football game 4 hours in advance. Their radar prediction technology goes 5 hours out and we'll be generous and say it is 'glitchy.'


Option #3: My phone. Powered by the Weather Channel, that App is garbage. The temperature is usually right, the forecast accuracy percentage is like flipping a coin. The weather app is as good as the thermometer in my car and me randomly guessing the weather by looking out over the dashboard and into the sky.


Option #4: AccuWeather. The generic version of a crappy app.


Option #5: The Local News.....



I miss the days of Dick Goddard. He was the local, folksy weatherman


40 years ago, Dick Goddard made the weather forecast on the 6 o'clock news, it was usually mostly right, and then you'd tune in the next day for your next slice of forecasting. Today you have dozens of options, from national to local outlets, 24 hours a day, yet it doesn't seem that forecasting the weather is any more accurate than a generation ago.


Let me make an analogy. When MTV debuted in 1981, they were all about music videos 24 hours a day. After about a decade, MTV decided to mix in some original programming with their videos and by the year 2000, original programming dominated MUSIC Television.


The Weather Channel debuted in 1982 and it was all weather, all the time. With the exception of the channel's obsession with trying to kill Jim Cantore, there wasn't much original programming, simply weather coverage. But at the turn of the millennium, they, too, added original series and documentaries. Weather themed programming. The Weather Channel had lost its way and was becoming a multi-media Weather Brand.



And local news channels were no better. Local news staffs were gutted and cameramen were replaced with robotic cameras. Also eliminated was a depth of talent as not all local stations have meteorologists anymore, some now have weather reporters who are paid to report the weather, not predict the weather. You simply don't see as many "weather nerds" on local television as you used to.


So, believe it or not, if Fox Weather is going to focus on weather, and pool the knowledge of local meteorologists, and invest in Weather based forecasting models, I think it will work.


But how long will their focus last?

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